Monday, 19 March 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.40: São Tomé and Príncipe

In this, the fortieth stop on Kingsley Egbuonu's alphabetical tour of African official IP websites on behalf of Afro-IP, Kingsley reaches São Tomé and Príncipe. Not the best-known or most obvious of African states, São Tomé and Príncipe seems little troubled by the internet.  As Kingsley explains:
Overview

The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is a Contracting Party to several intellectual property treaties but it is yet to sign up to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Copyright Office

• The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in São Tomé and Príncipe. 
• This office has no website.

Industrial Property Office

• The Serviço Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (SENAPI) is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in São Tomé and Príncipe. 
• This office has no website.

Social Media Presence

• None found.

Intellectual Property update

None found.

Conclusion

No website was found for either of the IP offices in São Tomé and Príncipe. Similarly, Afro-IP did not find any tangible IP initiative or activity associated with São Tomé and Príncipe online.

Agriculture used to dominate São Tomé and Príncipe’s economy in terms of revenue until recent oil exploration. Notably, the island is a member of the Alliance of Cocoa Producing Countries (COPAL).

Monte Café is renowned for coffee production; this is probably the reason why some label São Tomé and Príncipe as the “chocolate island”. This heritage is so popular that there is a tourist attraction on the island called “Coffee Road” Ride.

After many years of not reaping the rewards of its natural endowment, Ethiopia recently found out that some form of IP right could help its farmers (here and here). Without prejudice to other sectors of its economy, São Tomé and Príncipe could also benefit by embracing IP (or a suitable sui generis system) for the good of its ailing agricultural sector.
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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